Manulife Bank is hoping to challenge the mortgage and financial product dominance of Canada’s Big Five through an assortment of tech-driven products aimed at millennials’ needs.
Rick Lunny, the bank’s chief executive, said that his institution has cemented alliances with four fintech firms to tap their expertise in artificial intelligence and other technical aspects. Two of these are in Canada, and the other two are in New York and in Singapore.
Among the bank’s goals is to provide millennial customers a platform that brings the best of digital and mobile banking, all buttressed by the insurance company’s large scale and stability.
The ultimate goal is to help customers sign up for each of Manulife’s bundled products – including travel insurance, a credit card, a high-interest savings account, and an unlimited-transaction bank account – in just under a minute.
“Most of those products have not been copied by the big banks, so we see a great opportunity here with our existing products, but also with this new innovative digital banking package,” Lunny told the Financial Post.
“If you ask who our target audience is, it is customers who are dealing with the big banks,” he added, acknowledging the particular focus on younger Canadians.
Another offering would be exclusive to clients who manage to add $100 or more to their savings per month. The $10 monthly fee will be waived for customers who reach this benchmark, Lunny stated.
“We wanted to encourage millennials to save money. They tell us that they need help with saving money.”
An analysis by RE/MAX earlier this year found that younger people and first-time buyers are accounting for an ever-larger share of home owners nationwide.
This is especially apparent in Atlantic Canada, where 20% of residents in major regional centres like St. John’s, Moncton, Saint John, Charlottetown, and Halifax-Dartmouth belong to the demographic.
“Greater economic prosperity (the Maritimes are expected to lead the country in GDP growth in 2019), combined with interest rate stability and first-time buyer incentives are tipping the scales in favour of home ownership yet again,” RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region executive VP and regional director Christopher Alexander said at the time.
“The Atlantic Region traditionally has the highest rates of home ownership in the country and we don’t expect that to change anytime soon.”